Mosquitoes reproduce at a very rapid pace and when they hatch there isn’t just one, there are hundreds. To help understand how the mosquito survives we have to first know what their life cycle is.
The mosquito has a four stage life cycle; The Egg, larva, pupa and finally the adult.
Stage 1: The Egg
Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs. These eggs get laid in a cluster that acts as a raft that floats on top of the water. With the right weather conditions these eggs will hatch in 1-5 days. Eggs need still, shallow water to survive. The eggs can survive for up to 7 years before they hatch if the weather permits this.
Stage 2: The Larva
As soon as the mosquito egg hatches it becomes a larva. The larvae live in water while they molt four times, growing in size each time. Molting is the act of shedding a layer of skin or shell to reveal new skin. The larvae are fully-grown anywhere from 2-14 days depending on the species of the mosquito and the water temperature the eggs were hatched in.
Stage 3: The Pupa
The larva stage results in the pupa stage. The purpose of the pupa is to allow the mosquito to go through metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is the transformation from the immature mosquito form to an adult mosquito form. During this stage the pupa does not feed. The pupa’s body goes through a lot of changes. Adult tissues and the digestive system begin to be built along with legs, wings and eyes. The pupa stage lasts 1-3 days depending on temperature. As the adult mosquito emerges, it floats on the water allowing its body to harden and its wings to expand before flying away.
Stage 4: The Adult
When comparing the female and male mosquito, you can see a number of different characteristics but the biggest distinction is the large, bushy antennae on the male mosquito. Although the male mosquito is easily distinguished, the female mosquito is the more infamous of the two. She is the only one of the two that bites and feeds on blood. The female mosquito searches for pray using their antennas to guide them toward carbon dioxide. Once she finds her pray she feeds. Female mosquitoes need blood for protein for their eggs, which is why they in turn bite humans and large animals.
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